I believe that before you read or share a book with children you need to be aware of your “purpose” in sharing that book. For myself, my “purpose” changes how I prepare the children before I share and even how I read the book. To do this you need to read the book completely through. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have read a book before sharing it for any reason with a child. This isn’t about finding books that you like, but to be sure the information within the book is appropriate for the children you will be reading it to. I consider language, topic, illustrations, and length of story. I also consider how it will work into the activities I have planned for lessons and the other books I’ll be including.
What do I mean by “purpose”?
Let’s start from the point that you could have chosen any of the thousands of great books available today, so why did you pick this one at this time to share with this group or individual child?
- Was it an easy grab from the shelf?
- Did a child(ren) pick it?
- Does it support a concept or lesson you are current working on?
- Does it reinforce an ongoing lesson?
- Is it a just “for pleasure” read? (some of my favorite books are this type)
- Does it connect with other books on a topic?
- Is it part of a series?
- Is it new or familiar to the child(ren)?
- Does it introduce a new genre?
You might have other questions, but these are the ones I quickly think through when I’m pulling together books for reading or just grabbing one for a quick share. When I “grab” a book it’s from my personal library and I have previously read every one of them. I think of a “grabbed” book as being one I had not pulled to work within a current unit.
My reading style changes depending on the “purpose”. For a “pleasure” read, I can really just read the story, adding voices, emotions, encouraging children to read along, and stopping as directed by the children. To build a lesson or introduce a new concept I need to do a bit of prepping. This can include discussion of illustration style, building vocabulary awareness, introducing the concept outside the book, setting the stage by asking special questions that the book will answer and pulling in connections to other books a child(ren) might be familiar with.
I also consider how I’ll be using the book for the day, week, or lesson unit.
If a book is the center of a lesson it will probably be shared multiple times. I can pretty much guarantee I will not read or present it the same way. I will change how I share it depending on what point I want to bring forward or focus on at the time.
- Will it be a specific illustration that really shows a point of the lesson?
- Will it be sections of language patterns?
- Will it be specific informational facts?
- Will it be about the concept, such as with sequencing I stop reading periodically to question the child(ren) to see if they are able to retell the story in sequence.
Approaching “Snowmen At Night” in this way, how does this work with the MELDS?
To answer that we really need to have an understanding of the Reading and Literacy standards.
Reading Standards for Literature ~
Key Ideas & Details:
With prompting and support:
- Engages and interacts during story reading
- Retells information from a story
- Demonstrates understanding of whom or what a story is about
Craft & Structure:
- Makes observations about words and pictures in books
- Begins to understand that a book has a title, author & illustrator
Integration of Knowledge & Ideas:
- Makes observations about the use of words and pictures
- Begins to make connections between a story or poem and one’s own experiences
Reading & Level of Text Complexity:
- Seeks out experiences (individually and in groups) with pictures, books, and other print materials
Reading Standards: Foundational Skills ~
- Begins to display appropriate book-handling behaviors and begin to recognize print conventions:
- Holds a book as if to read, point to title, and opens book and turns pages in single direction
- Recognizes print as something that can be read
- Recognizes and names the letters of his/her first name
With prompting and support:
- Demonstrates an understanding of spoken words and syllables:
- Begins to recognize rhyming words
- Begins to isolate and pronounce the initial sounds (phonemes) in their own name and in some words
Phonics & Word recognition:
With prompting and support:
- Begins to recognize that letters represent sounds
- Attends to fluent models of reading
- Begins to imitate fluent models of reading
Writing Standards ~
Text Types and Purposes of Writing:
- With prompting and support, uses a combination of drawing, dictating and emergent writing to:
- Communicate ideas
Production & Distribution of Writing:
- With prompting and support: Shares drawing and writing with others
- Recognizes that digital tools are used for communication and, with support and guidance, uses them to convey messages in picture and/or words
Research to Build & Present Knowledge-Writing:
- With guidance & support from adults, begins to recall some information from experiences or gather information from resources
ABC Snowmen (video): Using 26 printed snowmen cards (these were upper and lower case letters) to practice letter awareness and sound association. Once having named all the letters, the cards were used like flashcards to be placed in alphabetical order. While the version of cards pictured in the video may not be available at this time, here is an available free download from Free Homeschool Deals that has cards you can print off. I love to laminate cards like this for year after year usage.
Winter Bingo pdf
You will find a wide collection of activity ideas saved on the FCCAM Book Discussions: Snowmen At Night Pinterest Board
Next section: Early Language and Literacy